It appears that the NBA is in a spot of bother, with pre-season games cancelled due to players/club owners failing to break a deadlock over financial issues. So it falls to the virtual world to provide your basketball fix, and that’s where NBA 2K12 steps in.
- Out Now
- Platforms: iOS, PS2, PC, PS3, PSP, Wii, X360
- PS3 version has Move support
"I'm taking this, and going home."
The good news is that your player starts off with reasonable stats, meaning the first few matches aren’t an embarrassment (unless your name is Dan, and then every game is a shambles). You begin your career on the bench, being subbed on at set intervals, so your first goal is to become part of the starting line-up. You’re also given in-game objectives to complete, such as finishing with a team grade of C+ or higher, and completing these will earn you stat points. These can be spent on upgrading your character in a huge number of ways, from offensive moves to how emotionally strong you are.
To be honest, everything in My Player is ridiculously in-depth, and it has to be one of the most comprehensive modes I’ve ever seen in a sports game. If I were to go through it all I’d be here all day, there’s that much to do. You can even take part in post-match interviews where the answers you give affect how people view you; or you can go ahead and donate a chunk of your salary to charity. If you’re feeling extremely generous you might want to organise a night out for your team to make them like you that little bit more. Whoever said “money can’t buy you happiness” obviously never had over $60k to blow on drinks and a meal. Be warned; if you start My Player mode expect to lose a great deal of your free time.
There’s also an Association mode, which can be played online, where you take control of a team through an entire season.
As impressive as all this is, it would all be for nought if the gameplay wasn’t up to scratch. Thankfully NBA 2K12 plays incredibly well. There’s a training camp to take you through the basics, and beyond that is an almost formidable amount to learn. As someone who isn’t overly familiar with basketball my first few games were a steep learning curve, but once it all clicks into place it’s very good indeed.
Animations are slick, and matches are fast paced affairs designed to suck you in until you realise you’ve probably not taken a breath for the last three minutes or so. The opponent AI is smart, too, and will catch you out if you repeatedly try for the same play; make no mistake they will punish you for making errors. It’s a good job your team mates are on the ball (ha!) too, there were occasions where they have gotten me out of trouble due to the computer giving me the slip.
I believe I can fly! Woo!
In fact, the commentary deserves a special mention as there are times you actually forget you’re playing a game, as the team discusses the match, as well as any anecdotes they may have about various players. Top stuff! The game also gets +1000 points for actually saying my surname out loud during a match, as that’s the closest I’m ever going to get to fame.
Unfortunately I’ve been unable to try out NBA 2K12’s online mode. After jumping through various hoops and setting up a My2K account there has been nothing but trouble. Games become incredibly laggy, even in the menu screen, and then disconnect. I did think it was because I was playing against people across the pond, but I’ve read that they have been having a whole host of issues too. This is really disappointing, bearing in mind the quality of the rest of the game.
I also found the loading to be a bit tedious as well. Pretty much everything brings up the little loading icon, and at times it can take almost a minute to finish. A minute might not sound too bad, but once you’ve loaded up several things one after the other it does start to grate.
- Fantastic presentation.
- The commentary is brilliant.
- Plays very well.
- Ridiculously in-depth.
- NBA’s Greatest will delight fans.
- Online is broken.
- Some long periods of loading.
- User interface could be slicker.
NBA 2K12 is a wonderful offline experience. I can’t even hazard a guess as to how many hours playtime can be wrung out of My Player, and it’s topped off nicely with NBA’s Greatest. Unfortunately the online portion seems to be riddled with issues, which will frustrate fans looking to take the NBA experience further, so be warned.